A week ago tomorrow, on Tuesday, June 10, Miami Beach's new police chief, Dan Oates, was spending his second full day on the job.
If Chief Oates needed a reminder that he'd just assumed command of a department with a troubled past, all he had to do was pick up a copy of that day's Miami Herald.
Right there on page one of Tuesday's paper, above the fold, was a large color photo of disgraced Miami Beach cop Derick Kuilan being handcuffed after a jury found him guilty on two counts of reckless driving. The charges stemmed from Kuilan's July 2011, booze-fueled joyride on his police ATV that left two beach-goers seriously injured after he ran over them on a darkened stretch of sand.
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What Chief Oates didn't see in the paper that Tuesday - if he looked at the paper at all - was a photo snapped in the hallway of the courthouse as Kuilan awaited the verdict on Monday afternoon.
Before verdict in court hallway, ex-Beach cop Derick Kuilan and a fellow officer seemed confident. Familiar pose. pic.twitter.com/Afur9DjzEJ
— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) June 9, 2014
In the photo Kuilan stands next to friend and former MBPD colleague, Jorge Lemus. Kuilan's expression is an arrogant and familiar one.
The courthouse photo was posted to Lemus' Instagram account and retweeted by Herald courts reporter David Ovalle after someone leaked it to him.
Lemus calls the soon-to-be convicted felon, "my boy and best friend,"and a "#ManOfGod."
The judge in Kuilan's case ordered him jailed as soon as the guilty verdict was returned.
Less than two hours later, Kuilan was posing for another photo...this one taken by a corrections officer.
But missing is Kuilan's trademark arrogant sneer.
Chief Oates definitely has his work cut out for him.
Perhaps a good place to start would be to get some counseling for the officers in his department who think it's perfectly OK to revere and admire former cops who have disgraced the uniform.